Floppy Infant- Basically a term used to denote a Hypotonic child who is unable to maintain normal posture at rest and on manuevers as per expected for that age.
Floppy infant refers to those children presenting with generalized hypotonia, most often arising out of an insult incurred during fetal or neonatal period.
Useful indicators of weakness are:
- Ability to cough and clear airway secretions (‘cough test’)- Apply pressure to the trachea and wait for a single cough that clears secretions. If more than one cough is needed to clear secretions, this is indicative of weakness. ( Nowadays not performed )
- Poor swallowing ability as indicated by drooling and oropharyngeal pooling of secretions.
- The character of the cry — infants with consistent respiratory weakness have a weak cry.
- Paradoxical breathing pattern — intercostal muscles paralysed with intact diaphragm.
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